Facebook targets click-baiting using false video content across its News Feed

Facebook plans to make click-baiting a thing of the past. The social media giant has just rolled out some new updates to boost the reliability of information spreading across the popular platform and app.

In a blog post, Baraa Hamodi, an engineer at Facebook, wrote:

“People want to see accurate information on Facebook, and so do we. When people click on an image in their News Feed featuring a play button, they expect a video to start playing. Spammers often use fake play buttons to trick people into clicking links to low quality websites.”

Indeed, the update targets stories, which include fake video play buttons embedded in pictures or videos showing static images without content. Such strategies are usually employed to trick readers into clicking through to an external website.

A new Facebook algorithm seeks to downgrade such News Feed stories.

At the same time, the company will also be running tests to launch customisable links to news so that readers can choose their own topics of interest. Called “Featured Topic”, the tool will link to a news story that has been specified by a user in terms of broader content interest.

This should boost content discovery across Facebook whilst retaining relevancy for the end consumer.

Following heavy criticism for inaccurate news content circulating during the 2016 US Presidential elections, it’s about time Facebook revamped its news mechanisms.

It remains to be seen if the latest addition can allow people to step outside of their social media news content bubble, while being able to specify topics of interest.